A Letter from Danielle for February ‘16

Hi Everyone,

I hope that things are going along well for you. We’ve got some holidays coming up in February – President’s Day, which gives us a long weekend (always welcome!!!), Groundhog Day, which always seems a little silly to me after the classic Bill Murray movie of the same name, Chinese New Year, which is colorful, exciting, and usually with some great parades, Mardi Gras, which is fabulous and festive in New Orleans and Brazil, and Ash Wednesday, which is more serious and is the beginning of Lent before Easter 6 weeks later. Coming up this month is also my son’s birthday (which I can’t wait to celebrate!!), and the biggie: Valentine’s Day.

Since this is a Leap Year, we get a double dose of romance, which means that if your true love doesn’t come through with a proposal on Valentine’s Day, you can take control of the situation and propose to him on February 29th!!! There’s a very cute movie about that called “Leap Year” with Amy Adams and Matthew Goode. So sweet.

My Valentine’s experiences have been a mixed bag all my life. My first one in third grade (in a French school) was a total bust. I was the only girl in my class who didn’t get a Valentine. I was very sad about it, but managed to survive. And John, the eventual father of eight of my nine children, proposed to me on Valentine’s Day, which was definitely my best Valentine’s Day ever!!! He swept me off my feet, after a whirlwind romance, and we were married 4 months later on June 14. We shared seventeen very happy years married, and have stayed close forever after.

I gave a Valentine’s Day party the night he proposed (he asked me to marry him over lunch), and we both had other dates planned for the evening, and paid no attention to them after his proposal!!! They were very happy times, and we shared some very happy Valentine’s Days. He was always very creative about doing something special.

But let’s face it, real life is real life, and I have had some real dud Valentine’s Days too. Some really awful ones – no candy, no flowers, no romance. But a holiday based on chocolate can’t be all bad… in fact, it can be terrific!! My children and I love to exchange silly little gifts on Valentine’s Day. And I love anything with hearts. I collect art, paintings and sculptures with hearts on them. I have some of Jim Dine’s paintings, and some of the Robert Indiana ‘Love’ sculptures.

The French say that “love has no age”, which is a theory that I like, and actually believe in. I’m always hearing about some couple who re-found each other after many years, or met and fell in love -old enough to be my parents, or older – who decide to make the most of their ‘golden years’, and even marry. Why not?? Why shouldn’t older people be happy and even fall in love? The young don’t have a monopoly on love, it’s available to all of us at every age.

Hopefully someone will take you to dinner, or send you flowers, or bring you chocolates, or get down on one knee and propose (and yes, I’m old fashioned and believe in marriage, and the statement it makes about love and commitment, especially in the uncertain world we live in.) And if nothing is lining up for romance in your life this Valentine’s Day, you just don’t know what will happen next year. So keep an open mind – use leap year if it seems appropriate – and enjoy the chocolates. Life is full of surprises, and you just dont know what might happen this year, next year, or in a few years. I hope it will be a special day for you.

Have a great month of February, whatever you decide to celebrate!!!

Much love,

Danielle

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